Men's Fashion

Style Strategies: How the Photographer Shops

Describe your style
in five words or less.

Umit Benan meets Haider Ackermann.

Canon EOS R5 Camera

EOS R5 camera,
$3,899 by Canon

What are you shopping for at the moment?

Right now, just another RF lens for my R5.

Canon EOS R5 Camera

EOS R5 camera,
$3,899 by Canon

How did the ‘Five Fits With’ series come about with Esquire?

I started it in a slightly different format, with no text, on my Tumblr over a decade ago and called it ‘In Medias Res’. I continued the series for Four Pins and later added an interview component with Grailed. When Grailed no longer wanted to continue the series with me, I posted on my Instagram story that I was looking for a publication to pick it up. Luckily Jonathan Evans at Esquire was interested.

For people that may not know, you worked for Carson Street Clothiers back in the day. How did that help with your current freelance position today?

I was there from the beginning to the end. I started as a sales associate working the shop floor, but both owners, Matt and Brian, promised me a “job-job” when I graduated college and when I did, they offered me the role of Associate E-Commerce Director. I was responsible for photographing products, content, styling, product copy, sales and whatever else we needed for the site. We all wore a lot of hats to keep that shop running. I met a ton of people, whether they were customers, buyers, designers or other photographers and stylists. It was a hub for menswear in the city, and we had visitors from all over, but I was also lucky enough to come along on the buying trips and meet others internationally. I built an incredible network and learned how to continue networking tastefully. I also learned the scientific side of photography in taking product shots and the artistic side in shooting street style and constant content.

Any advice for someone trying to make it in fashion photography?

I really don’t think I’ve made it in fashion photography. It took me a while to figure out that it was not going to happen for me and be okay with it. I feel I capture people well, and I’m obsessed with clothes and fashion, so I think I’ll always be in that world in some capacity. Honestly, I don’t have advice regarding “making it” because the market is saturated with people clamoring to get in. I’d say try your hand at street style because the variable of quickly changing light, environments and subjects will teach you how to use your camera in a way not much else can. Also, be kind to every single person you meet.